Medicine at Home


This information can help you to deal with some minor ailments. If you have any doubts about a medical problem you should not hesitate to contact your doctor or nurse

 Ear Wax

Ear wax is an irritating problem, but does not require urgent medical attention.  If you know you have a wax problem causing deafness and that your ear is healthy, you can start the treatment yourself.  We recommend olive oil or almond oil only.  We do not recommend specially forumulated preparations that can be purchased which are not olive oil.  This is because they can irritate healthy ears.

If you are deaf and you don’t know why, you should see a Nurse.  If we find that wax is causing the problem, we will advise the olive oil treatment for a minimum of three weeks.

We occasionally have to undertake syringing for medical reasons.  This will be decided by a GP, who will ensure that the risks are discussed with you.

There is no need to have your ears checked before flying unless you are deaf or the ear is painful.

 Bumps and Bruises

Small bruises caused by a sharp knock or fall can be looked after at home

  • Apply a cold compress by soaking a towel/material in cold water and apply it to the bruise
  • If you feel there is a fracture/broken bone to avoid delay in treatment go straight to your nearest casualty department

Possible Fractures

If you feel that following an injury there is a possibility that you have a fracture/broken bone. To avoid a delay in treatment we advise that you go to the nearest casualty for X-ray. Most fractures cannot be identified without X-ray and we do not have this facility here.


Usually ankles or wrists

  • Apply ice or cold compress immediately by soaking a towel etc in cold water
  • Elevate the injured arm or leg. This will reduce swelling
  • If you feel that you have a fracture or the limb needs strapping / bandages go to the nearest casualty

Minor burns and scalds cause redness of the skin

  • Immediate treatment by pouring cold water over burn or scalds is often helpful
  • If burns or scalds cause severe blistering or break the skin the doctor should be consulted
  • Soluble aspirin or paracetamol may relieve the pain
  • Do not give any aspirin to children under the age of 12


Sunburn should be prevented by covering exposed areas of skin with clothing or high protection factor cream.

  • Remember head, neck, ears as well as other areas
  • There is no medical treatment available. Symptoms/pain may be relieved by cold compress/calamine lotion and paracetamol or aspirin.
  • If other symptoms such as high temperature, vomiting or drowsiness occur seek medical advice.

Sunburn and excessive exposure to sun or sun beds can cause skin cancer

Eye Injuries

  • Need to be treated immediately
  • Need specialist equipment for examination which we do not have
  • Our advice is to attend the Royal Victoria Infirmary Eye Casualty Department

 Insect bites/mosquito bites

  • There is no medical treatment available
  • Itching can be relieved by calamine lotion
  • Take advice from your local pharmacist
  • If the bite becomes infected seek medical advice

Sore Throat

Most sore throats are caused by virus infection which antibiotics cannot cure. With simple treatment the patient usually gets better in 4 – 5 days.

  • Paracetamol in the correct dose for the age
  • Encourage fluids/drinks
  • Avoid heavy exercise
  • Patient who gets worse or does not response to treatment should seek medical advice.


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